Category Archives: Autism

Virtual reality technology helping kids with sensory challenges like autism (incl. video)

“For kids with sensory challenges like autism, everyday experiences like popping down to the supermarket, crossing the road or swimming in the sea can be absolutely terrifying. 

But one Christchurch school has introduced something to try and bridge this gap.

With help from electronics giant Samsung, Allenvale School got hold of some virtual reality goggles.

And they’re proving a much needed portal for 10-year-old Kingston Friggin to enjoy school, where he once hated it.”

By Seven Sharp at TV New Zealand

Read more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/virtual-reality-technology-helping-kids-sensory-challenges-like-autism-v1

The Party: a virtual experience of autism – 360 video

“What is it like to be autistic? The Guardian’s latest VR film offers a glimpse of how a person on the autism spectrum copes with a stressful environment.

The Party allows you to enter the world of an autistic teenager, Layla, who is at a surprise birthday celebration. You will hear her thoughts about what she is experiencing and how it is affecting her, and share the sensory overload that leads to a meltdown (an intense response to an overwhelming situation).

The drama provides viewers with a powerful first-person perspective on the challenges that social situations may present to someone on the autism spectrum.”

By Anrick Bregman, Shehani Fernando and Lucy Hawking at The Guardian online.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/07/the-party-a-virtual-experience-of-autism-360-video

See the Newcastle virtual reality room helping children with autism overcome their phobias

An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.

In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.

Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”

By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live

Read more:

https://cdn.ampproject.org/c/www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/see-newcastle-virtual-reality-room-12593593.amp

Virtual Reality Helps Teens with Social Anxiety (video)

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“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.

These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.

The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”

Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider

News report by NBC News Today

Read more: http://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/vr-helps-teens-social-anxiety/

Teens with autism practice driving in virtual reality (video)

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“Researchers are designing a virtual reality simulator specifically for teaching teenagers with autism spectrum disorder to drive.

“In the past 15 years, there has been such an emphasis, such an appropriate emphasis, on early identification and early treatment of children with ASD,” says Amy Weitlauf, a psychologist who specializes in autism. “Well, now many of these children are adolescents and adults, so we have started to work on providing them with the support they need to become independent adults.

“And one of those key life skills for independence is, for many people, the ability to drive.”

By David Salisbury at VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Read more: http://www.futurity.org/virtual-reality-driving-autism-1211602-2/

How virtual reality is transforming healthcare (incl. video)

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“With VR headsets selling out faster than manufacturers can create them, the future looks bright for mass adoption, and that could well mean that an Oculus Rift looks just as natural in the doctor’s surgery as stethoscopes and needles.

Here is a list of some novel uses for VR in mental health and beyond:”

1. As a treatment for paranoia

2. Providing phantom limb pain relief

3. As a super-effective pain killer

4. Helping PTSD sufferers live with their trauma

5. As a controlled virtual environment for alcoholics

6. As training for lazy eyes

7. As social cognition training for young autistic adults

By Alan Martin at Alphr

Image: D Coetzee used under Creative Commons

Read more: http://www.alphr.com/bioscience/1003387/6-ways-virtual-reality-is-transforming-healthcare

Virtual job interviews prepare people with autism for work

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“Kevin, a ‘Virtual Interactive Training Agent’ [ViTA] was designed [by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies] to help students with autism spectrum disorder.”

“After seeing ViTA DMF in action, we realized there is limitless potential to help in many of the soft skill areas where folks on the autism spectrum struggle, both in and out of the workplace,” said psychologist Skip Rizzo, ICT’s director of medical virtual reality, who co-leads the project.

“We can provide experiential practice with a virtual human to help students practice a range of social and vocational skills, including how to take turns properly in a discussion, how to respond when someone says something inappropriate or even how to make small talk.”

Image by USC Institute for Creative Technologies

By Orli Belman at USC News

Read more: https://news.usc.edu/98577/virtual-job-interviews-prepare-students-with-autism-for-work/

How Virtual Reality Will Change the Face of Healthcare (video)

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“Virtual reality (VR) has come a long way since the 1990s. Today we stand at a tipping point, where VR is about to disrupt so many sectors such as research, sports, the military, education, entertainment, car manufacture, and even healthcare.

According to research and consulting firm IndustryARC, augmented and virtual reality in healthcare is predicted to generate $2.54 billion globally by 2020 .”

by Philip Perry at Big Think

Read more: http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/how-virtual-reality-will-change-the-face-of-healthcare

Teachers-in-training learn through virtual reality

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“The [University of Mississippi] School of Education is using a program that allows teachers-in-training to practice classroom skills in a virtual setting before sending them into local elementary and secondary schools.

The simulated TeachLivE classroom consists of an 80-inch monitor with five student avatars. Each avatar has his or her own personality.”

By Madeleine Beck at The DM Online

Read more: http://thedmonline.com/teachers-in-training-learn-through-virtual-reality/

When Virtual Reality Meets Education

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“Over the last several years, VR has moved from being the purview of the military and aviation to the mainstream of professional development, as managers, instructors, coaches and therapists have claimed increasing benefit from immersive experiences.

Perhaps the most utopian application of this technology will be seen in terms of bridging cultures and fostering understanding among young students.

Potentially, a collaboration between these innovative VR platform offerings could result in a curator or artist guiding a group of thousands around a museum exhibition or cultural site, or an actor or professor leading a virtual master class in real time with students from all over the world.”

By Elizabeth Reede for TechCrunch

Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/23/when-virtual-reality-meets-education/